Kabbalah of Information: 'Evil does not abide with you' (Psalms 5:5)

AuthorEDUARD SHYFRIN
Publication Date08 Feb 2021
The following will introduce the fundamental principles of the Kabbalah of Information regarding the structure and functioning of Creation, based on an analysis of events described in the Torah and the Nevi'im (Prophets). There will be a particular focus on the concept of Evil in Creation.

When studying the Torah, it is important to approach the text as a single whole: each letter, each word, and each story is interconnected.

In addition to the 613 commandments that are explicitly listed, the Torah also contains a wealth of other teachings and lessons. In order to uncover these lessons, one must reveal the hidden links, parallels, and patterns that exist between the events described in the Torah.

This task requires knowledge of the Kabbalah.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a 2nd-century Tannaitic sage and disciple of Rabbi Akiva, described the stories in the Torah as the garments, the commandments as the body, and the Kabbalah as the soul of the Torah.

This article will attempt to analyze the following interconnected stories through the lens of the Kabbalah of Information:

The Flood

Abraham's descent into and ascent from Egypt

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the salvation of Lot

Jacob's flight from Laban with his family

The Exodus

The links between these stories will be traced according to the following considerations:

1 - All of the individuals mentioned in the stories above suffered from a higher evil that they could not overcome on their own.

According to the Kabbalah, the higher the root of the animal soul, the lower it may fall. It is believed that the souls of the most malevolent villains are initially formed at a higher level of revelation of the information conveyed by HaShem (the Almighty). In other words, they are very powerful. This is true of the antediluvians, the Pharaoh of the time of Abraham, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Laban, the Pharaoh of the Exodus period, and Esau. This seemingly paradoxical fact requires further clarification, which will be provided in the following sections.

2 - All of the stories mentioned above involve the direct intervention of HaShem with miraculous deliverance.

3 - None of the individuals in any of the stories listed above broke from evil entirely:

— Noah took a grapevine with him on the Ark.

— Hagar accompanied Abraham and Sarah out of Egypt.

— Lot's wife looked back while leaving Sodom.

— Rachel stole Laban's teraphim as Jacob fled with his family.

— When Moses delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, they were joined by 'a great mixed multitude' of Egyptians.

4 - All of the aforementioned events had incredibly negative and irreversible consequences.

Each story will be reviewed below in further detail, followed by a general overview from the standpoint of the Kabbalah of Information.

1 - Chapter 1:

And There Was a Severe Famine in the Land, and Abraham Descended to Egypt; or the Pharaoh's Revenge.

A brief description of the events in this story:

The Torah tells us, "And there was a famine in the land, and Abram descended to Egypt to sojourn there because the famine was severe in the land."

As they approach Egypt, Abram (Abraham) asks his wife Sarai (Sarah) to pretend to be his sister. Pharaoh takes Sarah to the palace and bestows on Abraham herds of animals, menservants, and maidservants.

HaShem then sends plagues onto Pharaoh and his household on account of Sarah. The Midrash B'reishit Rabbah gives the following description of the event: "Rabbi Levi said: All that night the angel stood with a staff in his hand and hit. If she said 'Hit,' he hit; if she said 'Leave,' he left."

Pharaoh realizes that he has been deceived, returns Sarah to Abraham, and gives him money. Abraham and Sarah return to the Holy Land.

After some time, we learn that they are accompanied by Hagar, an Egyptian woman who had become Sarah's handmaid.

This story has elicited much commentary, but the sages remain divided in opinion.

For example, Rashi wrote in his commentary that the famine was meant to challenge Abraham's faith: "To test him, whether he would think ill of the words of the Holy One, blessed be He, Who ordered him to go to the Land of Canaan, and now He was forcing him to leave it."

Therefore, Abraham is commended for not questioning the will of HaShem and descending into Egypt.

This interpretation is shared by Abraham ibn Ezra.

Ramban, however, held the polar opposite opinion.

In his commentary on the Torah, he writes, "And know that [our patriarch] Abraham sinned a great sin inadvertently, by bringing his wife the saint in a compromising situation, due to his fear that he be killed." He further suggests that Abraham should have trusted HaShem to save both him, his wife, and all that they owned, as HaShem had the power to aid and to protect him. Ramban insists that Abraham's descent from the land where he had been guided was a sin as he should have known that HaShem would have kept him from perishing during the famine. "Because of this action," he concludes, "It was decreed that his descendants be exiled to Egypt at the hand of Pharaoh."

The belief that Abraham's descent into Egypt would lead to the exile is also expressed in the Zohar.

It is later revealed that Hagar also left Egypt with Sarah and Abraham. It is important to note that the Torah provides information about Hagar immediately after describing the prophecy of the exile to Egypt.

Who was Hagar, and how did she become part of Sarah and Abraham's household? The Torah does not say. However, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the Midrash B'reishit Rabbah explains that: "Hagar was Pharaoh's daughter. When he saw the deeds on behalf of Sarah in his house, he took his daughter and gave her to her, saying, 'Better that my daughter be a maidservant in this house than a mistress in another house.'"

This author believes that by analyzing the consequences of Hagar joining Abraham and Sarah's household, another explanation for the event may be provided.

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